Headlines – February 1, 2016



U.S. may build 500 jets before finding out if F-35 works –
Tests of how Lockheed Martin’s F-35 will perform in combat won’t begin until at least August 2018, a year later than planned, and more than 500 of the fighter jets may be built before the assessment is complete, according to the Pentagon’s test office.


Raytheon, Northrop to get contracts for JSTARS radar –
The U.S. Air Force plans to award Raytheon and Northrop Grumman two sole-source contracts to mature radar designs for the Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System, the latest step in the service’s ongoing effort to recapitalize its ground surveillance fleet.
Global aerostat market to reach $10 billion –
The global aerostat market will reach $10.4 billion by 2021, according to a forecast by research firm Research and Markets. This reflects a compound annual growth rate of 17 percent over 2015.
Latest GMD test examines redesigned DACS for EKV –
The U.S. Missile Defense Agency and Raytheon Jan. 28 conducted a controlled vehicle flight test (CTV-02+) of the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense missile defence system to gather data on upgrades made to Raytheon’s Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle.
Cheap oil doesn’t dampen industry’s 2016 outlook –
Despite plummeting oil prices, international demand for defense products remains strong, including in the oil-rich Middle East, multiple defense executives said during fourth quarter earnings calls last week.
New look Finmeccanica mulls fate of brand names –
Italy’s Finmeccanica made its first air show appearance this month as a unified company, featuring the line-up of divisions that have replaced its traditional, individually named and semi-autonomous units.


Small military pay raise planned for next year’s Pentagon budget –
The annual budget request the Pentagon sends to Congress next week will include a 1.6 percent pay raise for troops in 2017, a historically small bump aimed at reducing military personnel costs, according to defense officials.
U.S. Navy’s unmanned jet could be a tanker –
Defense Secretary Ash Carter could reveal the decision the morning of Feb. 2 when he’s to speak about the fiscal 2017 budget submission at the National Press Club. The budget itself is scheduled to be delivered to Congress Feb. 9.


VA’s failure to demote executive a ‘tragic comedy,’ lawmaker says –
The chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Jan. 29 slammed an administrative judge’s ruling that reinstates a Department of Veterans’ Affairs official who was demoted for allegedly maneuvering a lower-ranking employee out of a job so that she could fill it.


SpaceX, Russia change rules of military launch market –
It’s been a tough week for United Launch Alliance. A hearing Jan. 27 brought news of a potential ban on Russian made RD-180 engines which ULA requires for their Atlas V rocket. To make matters worse, the U.S. Air Force is also considering ending an $800 million-per-year contract with the company.
Space-based laser data-relay system advances –
Airbus Group SE has taken a big step toward establishing a global, high-speed data-relay system in space aimed at eventually using lasers to rapidly distribute spy photos and other data from satellites and drones.


China Reorganizing Military to Close Gap with U.S. –
China’s armed forces are undergoing a sweeping five-year reorganization aimed at creating central control over the military’s nearly autonomous branches and creating a more lethal fighting force to close the gap with U.S. capabilities, analysts say.